Last Wednesday at noon the DAVIS Training Room was booked with employees from all levels of the organization, different departments and locations. This was a voluntary meeting with an overwhelming response rate. The Professional Development team, an internal focus group, has a mission to empower individuals to advance in their careers by providing the tools, opportunities and culture to do so. One of their ways of providing professional development is hosting monthly lunch and learn sessions for all DAVIS employees.
The group’s first topic of discussion was the differences between leadership and management, and the behaviors of a leader. The team issued out one article and two videos for all employees to review before the meeting. The Professional Development team facilitated the session and everyone weighed in on the topic of conversation.
The outcome was collaborative and brought clarity.
People were speaking freely, giving their opinions and contributing to others statements. Some even discussed personal experiences with important figures in their lives that influenced their leadership skills, or had shaped their thoughts on how a leader should behave. Together we defined behaviors of a leader creating clarity in regards to the responsibility of a leader. The feedback from those who joined was extremely positive. The energy in the room was inviting, and people were engaged. These discussions create a culture for voices to be accepted no matter how tenured or new you are to the organization. Setting the expectation up front that the sessions are a safe zone for your voice and opinion to be respected allows for maximum participation, cross department collaboration and clarity.